#teamUtah had a great de-brief last week with a representative from Project BOAT. As they say, feedback is a gift.

We appreciated the company’s honest assessment and were heartened to learn directly that our bid did exactly what we hoped it would: open the door for future opportunities.

A few brief notes on the site selection criteria:

  1. As we expected, the site selection is heavily indexed towards technology talent. Markets needed to solve the talent puzzle to advance to the next stage.
  2. Available real estate is an important site selection criteria, but secondary to talent. As long as one viable site existed in a market with the right talent makeup, that market could advance.
  3. Incentives are important, but again talent was primary. The company expects a meaningful partnership such that incentives can assist the company in solving for its infrastructure and talent needs.

Because we have been looking at the HQ2 RFP as our community’s roadmap to 50k high-paying jobs, I naturally wanted to know what was missing from our proposal. I didn’t just want to know if we could have presented the data differently, I wanted to know if there are deficiencies in our market that have gone unnoticed by us. So we asked direct questions and the company was very gracious to indulge our inquiries. All in all, the company’s feedback was encouraging. Their suggestions were to:

  1. Continue investing in K-12 education.
  2. Continue investing in STEM education.
  3. Continue driving University/industry partnerships.
  4. Continue fostering entrepreneurism.
  5. Continue to grow our high-tech labor pool from within and without.

We talk a lot about economic development requiring the right mix of marketing prowess and product development. In this instance, we learned that we showcase well but that we must continue to develop our human capital and other assets for future opportunities.